A decree earlier this month by the French ecology and agriculture ministry is bad news for the French wolf population. The decree is about the organisation of wolf hunting for the coming 2015/2016 season (Official Journal of 2 July 2015).
The common or eurasian wolf (Canis lupus lupus), was hunted to extinction in France, but re-appeard in the 1990's when they moved across the alps from Italy. Since then, the population has slowly grown and they are now a protected species. However, this growth in the wolf populations has led to increased discontent for sheep farmers with the corresponding higher incidence of attacks on their flocks.
LPO, FNE and Humanité et Biodiversité find that, instead of working towards the organisation of a future coexistence strategy, the state chooses to rush headlong towards the destruction of the growing wolf population, a species that is internationally protected.
In short, the decree means:
- More sanctioned wolf deaths. The maximum number of wolves that can be killed is set at 36 for this period, against 24 the previous season (with a possibility of an additional 12 wolves). Bare in mind this is getting close to 20% of their population!
- Increased number of people who will be authorised to hunt wolves without supervision.
- And most concerning, is the area in which wolfs can be hunted is increasing, including in the heart of national parks.
The search for sustainable solutions for the coexistence between human activities and the presence of predators demand political strength.